Implementation of Emergency Radio Interoperability Training and Proficiency




Hale, Nathaniel J.

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Today’s generation of police officers do not know how to operate and utilize their emergency radio’s (mobile and portable) to their full potential. Radio usage has been a key tool within the law enforcement profession for many decades. Most officers are only taught to turn on the radios and are then told what channel to have the radio on to listen to and communicate with other agencies. This sets up a major problem from an administrative, legal, and safety concept. Officers are taught in the academy a very brief overview of how to utilize a police radio and some of the radio jargon used within the profession of law enforcement. It is not cost effective nor reasonable to expect law enforcement academies to teach police radio usage and operations in depth due to each agency and radio region utilizing different systems. Law enforcement agencies should develop and implement training and proficiency requirements covering radio usage and operability. This will include initial training at the onset of employment to be completed within the field training officer (FTO) training, to provide that the police officers are able to not only push to talk and let go to listen, but to be able to describe radio etiquette, and to show proficiency in operating the radio for interoperability purposes. In Texas, agencies train officers on most of the tools on their belts either annually or biannually. However, agencies fail officers in training by not teaching officers to thoroughly use the tool most used every day. When officers engage in a pursuit, most don’t know how to navigate the radio to a surrounding area channel to notify a neighboring agency or communicate with other officers to summon assistance. Implementing good policies for the training of new officers and coming up with a proficiency standard will save officers’ lives.



Wireless Communications Systems